Website updates that actually make things worse

Why do companies like to make websites/services worse when they “update” them?

Google: We’re going to add more features to GMail to make it “better.”
Me: Don’t want it. I don’t even use 95% of the features you already have.
Google: You have no choice. (forced update ensues)
Me: (immediately switching back to classic mode)
Google: I see you are avoiding our updates, we’re still going to force them on you anyway. (another forced update)
Me: *%^&!#)! Why is GMail so slow now? (selects load Basic HTML as default)
Google: Still trying to defy us? I don’t think so.
Me: WTF! Why does it keep loading “Standard” as the default? I chose Basic HTML!
Google: Do not resist, you cannot resist anyway. We are all-powerful.

PS: It’s not just Google. A lot of websites make usability worse when they “update” them and i’m sick of it.

PPS: MS Windows is guilty too.


Google’s recent update to chrome gave me the final push to actually stop using their browser. I really hate the new looks of the tabs, I get very annoyed when developers push “touch screen” UIs to desktop programs without an obvious way to opt out. Stop wasting my screen real estate with useless fluff and giant elements.This is a large part of why windows 8, why do you insist on repeating the same mistakes?

Now I know you can actually switch back to the older style in the “secret” options, but I’ve spent a couple of weeks now getting used to firefox again so I’m sticking with that.

6 Likes was the big one for me. The old version looked good, worked and was easy to navigate. Then they updated it to universal distaste…needless to say I don’t even bother going back there any more. I can’t imagine how many users they lost in the transition.

Other sites have changed in more subtle ways…Gamefaqs and Neogaf are the two that immediately spring to mind. I strongly believe in listening to your community as they’re the ones who’re supporting you.


People don’t really like change in general though, so listening to your community is almost always going to get you a lot of negative feedback. The trick is to figure out what is legitimate issues and what is merely people not liking change because it’s different and can be very hard to do.

As for email. I’m not using the webmails at all anymore since they keep changing stuff. Got mozilla firebird thunderbird some time ago and use that instead with all my various emails. Gmail keeps complaining about it though “uuuh uuuh! unsafe apps are accessing your account!”


I agree with the new Gmail update…It’s just a big “WHY?”

I usually like to see new interfaces but a lot of the time they are just a lot worse than before, Twitter for example has a new design as well, that for me it doesn’t look good, and the elements are too big.
Some things should just be left as they are.

Also I don’t know about you guys but i feel like the new Reddit web interface is a good example of an update that was needed. I personally like it more than the previous look.


Objectively, companies are all trying to make a better product through redesigns. The user experience becomes subjectively worse when they’re forced into using a new interface that supports features they may not necessarily want. This also allows companies to put more resources into maintaining the new, current system which may make their product(s) more attractive to people who aren’t customers yet. It’s all with the goal of making a stronger, more competitive product for the marketplace.

Apple is probably the most well known company for creating a seamless “experience” across their products. Google has also adopted a similar approach with integrating their services together. Google’s web apps like Docs and Sheets didn’t seem impressive to me compared to Microsoft’s Office at first but they offer things that go far beyond the scope of Office when you start tapping into Google’s other API services.

Then there’s Microsoft now playing catch-up of integrating products into a core experience in order to maintain their dominant position in the PC industry. They didn’t really face a singular, major competitor and were able to sit on that until their territory began to become threatened by different software as a service providers that were offering things MS never even had a competing product for. Now they’ve began to cut down some of their products and integrate them together, like with Windows 10. If you build a new PC the only Windows OS that’s supported is Win10. Major hardware manufacturer’s like Intel and AMD only need to build for and support one Windows platform now and that adds value to the OS itself in that way.

It’s when the idea of a seamless experience goes wrong like Win10 has become infamous for that the user experience comes back as “bad”. Forced service updates are supposed to extend the product lifecycle instead of being a nuisance that hits your bandwidth cap overnight. The latest major Win10 update can actually brick some of those smaller 32GB laptops because they never thought to add a free space check once Win10 had been installed, only during a system readiness check and the initial upgrade of the OS itself. But also consider how they’ve added some underlying support for Linux tools. It was only to make their one desktop offering a more competitive product.

Now, I’m not saying I agree with any of these changes as a user. I’m just pointing out some reasons why we see these changes happening. Linux will always be around, but 95% of users still won’t see a use for it when their desktop experience is coming in as a service streamed from the cloud without any need to worry about upgrades and hardware compatibility. You’ll just have to learn how to use the new ribbon bar on your virtual desktop running Office 2019 365 he he.

Dislike it or not but no one is in the business of creating a worse user experience. They’re trying to create a more robust and accessible product that you want to stick with in the end because of the overall experience it provides. This all stems from the fundamental changes of business within an industry and not unique in that regard. We just don’t usually see these change occuring in other industries because we aren’t familiar with them.


the worst part is how much slower the new is
that alone should have been basic common sense reason for any one with a half brain at google to not use this design(hah! half a brain available at google i’m such an optimist :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:) :smile:
time for a classic to celebrate another season of google stupid


Is this why GMail takes noticeably longer to load now? I only use GMail because there isn’t a good alternative that i’m aware of and my official student email account is on there because my university uses GMail.

I don’t know any of any specific changes (I immediately clicked through the new UI message) but they probably added in more content/scripts that might slow it down compared to before.

You can set up desktop software like Outlook or Thunderbird that will handle emails in an account. I set up Thunderbird to archive my university email that was also serviced by Google. I’d prefer not have to do that again because it was a bit frustrating. Third-party apps for mobile devices will also use IMAP or POP3 to manage an account. Google’s mobile Gmail app directly interfaces with the account and manages things somewhat nicer than the other protocols. I just leave Gmail sync turned off on my mobile devices, though.

One thing I wish I had thought of earlier because it worked out well was to just forward the entire account to my personal Gmail address by using a filter to monitor the recipient address header for my university email address and apply a label to it in my account. It ends up archiving every message sent to your university address once you set up the account forward and label filter up until the time the University decommissions the address. It’s probably not something too useful now but it’s a quick and easy way to archive emails if you want to save them elsewhere.

The new Gmail feels a lot faster imo but visually it’s just a pain, I have a real hard time looking at my inbox.
And the Chrome tab changes should have just been an option for touch screen users, it is a good option to have but it shouldn’t have been on by default.


Did they change the name from “Thunderbird” to “Firebird”?


No, I just messed up.


sry for the necro but saw this and reminded me of the thread here :rofl:


Just get “Outlook” for e-mails. :man_shrugging:t2:
Way better. Quick, Easy and Free.

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naa, wouldn’t want my mails in the hands of ms anyways :wink:
besides google+ might (finally) get the deserved deathblow, but gmail still works fine at least

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I don’t want my emails in google’s hands either though. Been seriously thinking about buying a domain and setting up my own email server for a while now. I do have a raspberry pi I’m sure would be up for the task.